Home Africa News Ethiopia Declares State of Emergency. Tension Rises Over Protests
Ethiopia Declares State of Emergency. Tension Rises Over Protests

Ethiopia Declares State of Emergency. Tension Rises Over Protests

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On Sunday October 2, a stampede during a cultural festival in Ethiopia lead to the death of dozens.

Demonstrators chant slogans while flashing the Oromo protest gesture during Irreecha, the thanksgiving festival of the Oromo people, in Bishoftu town, Oromia region, Ethiopia, October 2, 2016. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri - RTSQF70

The festival is an annual Festival called the the Irreecha thanks giving festival of the Oromo people, which takes place at a sacred lake in the town of Bishoftu, about 25 miles southeast of Addis Ababa. The hysteric stampede was caused as officers fired tear gas bombs and warning shots in the air, in the middle of the gathering.

The people of Oromo in Ethiopia who constitute about a third of the Ethiopian population and are regarded as the largest ethnic group have been in several protests over the past year about the marginalization of their people and confiscation of their lands and factories.ethiopia-protest-state-of-emergency

Following the deadly stampede of last week, mobs began attacking foreign-owned businesses and their foreign owners, leading to at least one recorded death during the unrest.

The declaration of state of emergency throughout the country effective as of October 8, 2016 came after a daylong emergency meeting of the ministerial cabinet of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

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The turn of events over the past week is also said to have led the Ethiopian government to shut down mobile internet, block social media in most parts of Oromia region and all of Addis Ababa; while significantly slowing down broadband internet. This is a move, suspected to keep international spectators off such issues going on in the Country.

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